This blog is in dire need of a fluff post!
It just so happens that I have something, or someone, that I neglected to post a couple of months ago. So let the cute begin!
This is Capt. Jack Carter, or it was him two months ago when he was living with a different family. He’s quite a bit… um… larger… now.
Jack is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Now I see that look on your face, and you can just wipe it off your mug right now! Do you believe everything the media tells you? You know I don’t, as evidenced by my last handful of posts, so let’s have a little history lesson, shall we?
Pit Bulls are descended from a now non-existent bull dog and terrier cross. They are the first and oldest American dog breed. Because of their muscular build and high desire to please their owners, they were the original working dog in America. The first and most decorated canine war hero was a pit bull; Sergeant Stubby, pictured to the right. Helen Keller had a pit bull as her canine companion, and Mary Tyler Moore uses a pit bull as a diabetic hypoglycemic alert dog. The dog Petey, from Our Gang and Little Rascals, was also a pit Bull.
And not a single one of those kids had their faces bitten off! Licked off maybe, but that’s a different kind of torture.
The truth is that Pit Bulls were bred for non-aggression towards people because the originators of the breed knew that they would have to work closely with their human handlers. Pit Bulls, on average, score over 85% on Canine Temperament tests; higher than Collies, Chihuahuas, Spaniels, Dachshunds, Sheppards, Schnauzers, and even Golden Retrievers, which are considered the ultimate family dogs, and that’s just a sampling.
Pit Bulls are good dogs with a bad reputation because their strength and desire to please has appealed to some of the lower elements of the human population. DNA doesn’t make a dog dangerous, the idiot holding the leash does. Since I proclaimed yesterday that I am in fact NOT an idiot, then my kid’s faces should be pretty safe. :)
So now that we’ve cleared that up, let me introduce you to Jack. The smartest idiot I have ever met.
Yes, he is a really smart dog. Within a day he had the “sit” command mastered. Within two weeks he knew “stay.” Unfortunately his intelligence doesn’t extend to potty training because after two months he’s still peeing on my floor. I will admit that he’s getting better though, now instead of peeing on the floor thirty times a day and once or twice outside, those numbers have reversed and he goes outside more than in. Also, now after he pees on the floor he goes and sits by the door to let you know that he’s not a complete moron, and that he knows where he was supposed to do it.
He’s a work in progress.
Of course the kids love him. They love him so much in fact that no matter how many times we tell them he’s not allowed on the furniture he still manages to find a way up there. As evidenced here:
Ok, maybe one of them listens:
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all though, is this:
I was told specifically not to post that picture on facebook. However, he said nothing about my blog. :D
John, the resident animal ambivalent (not hater, he just doesn’t care one way or another), actually likes the dog. Now you’d be hard pressed to get him to admit it, but I see the signs. For instance, when he comes home from work he says hi to the dog before I get my kiss. He also can be found on the floor playing with him at least once a day, and who gave him steak from the dinner table? Not me or the kids, but for some reason he sits next to John’s chair when we eat dinner now.
So back to that whole “smartest idiot” thing. I know it seems like a contradiction, but if you’ve ever spent any time with a pit bull, I’m sure you know what I mean (I understand that they all pretty much fall into this category). He picks up training commands really fast, and retains them after the training session is over. Twenty minutes on the floor with a clicker and a bag of treats, and he can learn just about anything.
When it comes to common sense stuff though… Not so much.
For instance, yesterday Alexi and I watched for quite a long time(laughing hysterically I might add) while the cat outsmarted him over and over again.
MacDuff (the cat) was perched on the stairs, about three steps up, watching Jack warily, while Jack tried to entice him to play. You see while Jack really wants to play with Duff, the cat is not so thrilled with the prospect of wrestling with a forty pound puppy dog. So knowing that the dog won’t go upstairs (the evil bathtub is up there and Jack likes to stay as far away from it as possible), MacDuff likes to sit just out of reach and taunt him.
Every couple of minutes, Duff got tired of watching Jack do his pogo stick impression, and would go up the stairs to the landing and hide just out of sight. The dog, apparently believing our stairs form some sort of impossible Escher-esque loop, would immediately go to the basement stairs, and wait for him to return.
While Jack was standing there waiting patiently for Duff to complete his teleportation from the second story to the basement, the cat would sneak back down the stairs and smack him with a paw on the back of the head. Then he’d jump gracefully back to his perch on the third step, just out of reach again.
They did this at least twenty times and the dog never caught on.
So you see, he’s not a brain trust, but he’s also not a total wash either. He’s just the smartest idiot I know.
For the most part though, this is what he does during the day…
and a little bit of this:
Which is fine with me, in fact a lot of days I wish he’d do it even more. Especially on the days when he decides that it’s too cold or wet to go outside to go potty, the days he thinks that toes were made to be yummy puppy treats, and the days when he discovers the treasures inside the garbage cans. Because once he gets trouble on the brain, it’s pretty hard to make him forget it. If there’s a warm lap around though, it beats out any distraction that would otherwise divert him from his nap.
Overall, he’s an awesome, silly, cuddly dog that we all love, and he fits right into our crazy, dysfunctional family.
Now our collection of weirdness that society shuns is totally complete!